i76 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. LVI Assassins and of the Caliphs. Shortly afterwards died Dokuz Khatun, his chief wife, who as a member of the Kerait tribe was a Nestorian Christian, and to whose influence it. was due that Hulagu protected Christians. Indeed so far did this protection go that in A.D. 1260 Hulagu received a letter from the Pope expressing the Sovereign Pontiffs joy at hearing that he was disposed to adopt the Catholic faith. Of the character of Hulagu little that is good is known. He was certainly as cruel and as false as others of his race, and he appears to have been addicted to pleasure. Had he found a strong Caliph ruling at Baghdad, it seems probable that his hordes, lacking a leader, would have been beaten back ; but he was fortunate in having to deal with weak and incapable men both at Alamut and at Baghdad,, and it is mainly owing to this personal accident that Hulagu Khan, the founder of a dynasty in Persia, is known to fame as a conqueror who profoundly affected the course of the world's history.